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syseng
syseng, Systems Engineer
Category: Software
Satisfied Customers: 6611
Experience:  Microsoft & Cisco Certified, Linux, 20 years experience
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For OOB access to cisco routers at remote sites I use a

Customer Question

For OOB access to cisco routers at remote sites I use a modem and analog line--(not my choice). I'd been using this setup on Windows 7 for several months and it worked fine until a couple of weeks ago. Then out of the blue it stopped working. ...I dials out fine, and the remote modems pick up, but the modem on the laptop I'm using doesn't communicate, there is just silence. If I call into the modem on hanging of the laptop, it picks up. ........again, this worked fine until a couple of weeks ago, now suddenly it doesn't. Hard to find troubleshooting advice that isn't 12 years old. I also spoke with the company that puts out hyperterminal pro---and out of the blue they started getting similar complaints a few weeks ago
Submitted: 8 months ago.
Category: Software
Expert:  syseng replied 8 months ago.

Hello,

My name is David.

It is possible that an update may have caused the problem. Since updates usually create a restore point I would recommend performing a system restore back to before the issue first started. First, I suggest checking Windows Update to see if any updates were installed just before the issue occurred. Given that you are remotely accessing Cisco routers, you probably know how to do this, but just in case...click Start, Control Panel, Windows Update, then click View Update History, and then identify and write down the KB numbers of every update install immediately before the issue first started.

Next, perform a system restore that rolls back the laptop configuration to how it was configured when the dial up connection was working. To do this click the Windows Start button then All Programs, then Accessories then System Restore. Click Next and then click a restore point dated prior to when the issue first occurred and click Next.Confirm the System Restore and the restore will be applied and the computer will reboot. Then retest to see if the issue is resolved.
Note that System Restore is reversible and does not impact your personal files. If the system restore works then most like there is an update causing the issue.

Please let me know the results after following the procedure above and if it does not work there are other procedures that I can provide that may fix the issue. Also, please provide a positive rating if you are satisfied with the service.

Thank you,

David.

Customer: replied 8 months ago.

Hi---

Thanks for looking at my question. Unfortunately that isn't it. Sorry if my notes were rambling and not very clear, but I did already try a system restore. Rolled it back twice, once to October, and once back even further. Wish that was it. Even tried a different computer with an earlier, (I think) image. I guess I'm hoping that there's something that came up recently that I can't find. Please let me know if you have anything else. Thank you

Expert:  syseng replied 8 months ago.

Sounds like you are managing multiple remote locations, correct?

If so do they all use the same brand of modem? If not then test connecting to a site with a different make/model of modem that you may not yet have connected to since the issue first started occurring.

If they do, what is the make and model (or is it integrated)?

Also, to rule out HyperTerminal Pro as the culprit, I would recommend creating a dial up connection to one of the routers using Network and Sharing Center in the Control Panel and then test the new connection.

If dial up still fails, next uninstall the modem driver, reboot and let Windows reinstall the driver and then test dial up to a router again.

Customer: replied 8 months ago.

Correct---multiple sites. Haven't been to them but I presume they are slightly different models, but for the most part all old External models. Have tried reconnecting to all of them since this started, no dice.

-also had the kid from Hypt-pro, (the one said this problem just popped up but has had success with the Trendnet modem) dial into 2 of them the other day to confirm he could connect---and he was successful.

-Have already tried 4 separate modems, including hooking up an external which was a lot of fun. And with all of them I tried using default windows drivers, the latest vendor drivers, the old vendor drivers

-Have tried connecting using Hytermpro, Windows dial up connection, Secure CRT, even putty no dice on any of them.

Like I said, was really throwing up kind of a Hail Mary on this. The only reason I came to the conclusion it might be a Windows problem is because I tried everything I could possibly thing of before deciding it must be software related....adn then I assumed it was the Hypter-Pro. Only after talking to their tech support and finding out they suddenly have similar issues, and trying the next wave of troubleshooting--the stuff I listed above, did I figure it must be windows.

But I can't find anything about new windows problems, which probably isn't shocking given it's 2017 so I'm probably one of like 11 people left who still has to use a modem.

Realistically my next stop is trying to come up with an XP machine and trying that, or maybe a windows 10 box. But that presents other problems because more often than not I have to RDP to the box connected to the Analog line because I use it late at night. ....and I don't think I can get an XP or W10 added to the domain/AD.

should add that there are two analog lines in the server room, and I had someone dial into a modem on them, (and I've done it from a phone), and those seem fine. Also tried a different phone cable. Basically my trouble shooting pattern was to work it back to single points of failure, which led me to the server room where the laptop sits----which is just the line and laptop and now the line is ruled out.

Doesn't help that there are no analog lines anywhere else.

thanks again---as you can see, I'm really reaching. Would have taken 20 pages to list all the stuff I've tried already.

Expert:  syseng replied 8 months ago.

Interesting that the Hyperterm Pro tech support guy was able to connect to two of the modems. Given that, I would recommend dialing up from another location as it could be noise on your PSTN line. I have personally experienced the issues you describe, and then changed the phone cable and eliminated the problem. In this case however, just to make sure the entire dial up connection is different, I would recommend testing from another location to see if you can duplicate the results reported by the Hyperterm tech guy.

Customer: replied 8 months ago.

Heh, think I was editing to add more as you sent this.

The Hypterm Pro guy can only connect using the trendNet modem he has. If he tries other, including the US robotics model that I orginally had, he gets the same results. As it's hard to find analog lines, asking him to dial in to try was my of testing from a different location.

It's definitely on the windows side because as far as I can tell it breaks down that the laptop can answer if it gets a call, but if it dials out and a remote modem picks up, it can't negotiate.

Dumb of me not to put this before, but the error message I get is "no answer", but I know that the devices are getting answered because I've called both my phone and a modem that was sitting on the second analog line in the server room

As you can probably guess, I'm a network guy, not a windows guy, so that stuff that I've been able to clear is all the network side stuff, like the Pots line.

Expert:  syseng replied 8 months ago.

Are there any errors logged to Event Viewer when the connection fails?

Also, are there any yellow flags by any of the network adapters listed in Device Manager?

Customer: replied 8 months ago.

hah--it's all clean. It doesn't know it's not working

Expert:  syseng replied 8 months ago.

Next I would recommend resetting the BIOS to factory default and testing dial up and if that does not work then removing the battery, unplugging the power, waiting 10 seconds, then plugging in the charger and testing the dial up connection.

If your laptop has a recovery feature, and resetting the BIOS and removing/reinstalling the battery does not work, I would recommend taking the image and importing it into a virtual environment such as VMWare Workstation or VirtualBox, and then attempt to dial out and connect using the VM. Since the VM does not have any updates installed and contains all original configurations, it should be able to dial out and successfully connect in the same way as the laptop did previously if the issue is Windows related.

Customer: replied 8 months ago.

Ok---will give it a shot and let you know. Thanks again

Expert:  syseng replied 8 months ago.

Sounds good. Please let me know the result.

Thanks,

David.

Customer: replied 8 months ago.

No dice on the VM test--tried win 7 and XP too-will have to give you Bios battery idea a go when I'm onsite---but I"m really stumped...sorry dragged you into this mess--seemed like an easy fix. thanks

Expert:  syseng replied 8 months ago.

Ok, and thanks for the update.

Please let me know when you have a chance to test the BIOS reset and battery procedure and if its successful.

Thanks,

David.

Customer: replied 8 months ago.

first thing tomorrow...thanks

Expert:  syseng replied 8 months ago.

Ok, thanks for the update. I will check back tomorrow morning.

David.

Expert:  syseng replied 8 months ago.

Hello,

Just checking in to find out if you still need assistance.

Thanks,

David.

Customer: replied 8 months ago.

HI,,,thanks for thw follow up...Still no dice on this. Going to retry the system battery tomorrow and combine it with a new modem---if that doesn't do it I'm officially retired from the modem troubleshooting game

Expert:  syseng replied 8 months ago.

Thanks for the update. Since you are going to get a new modem, perhaps go with a TrendNet modem (if available) since the HyperTerm Pro support guy was able to connect using a TrendNet modem.

Please let me know the result after you try the battery and modem.

Thanks,

David.